Engineering Network Services - CSU

Engineering Network Services

Requesting Software

Policies for Lab Software

Faculty and staff must request what they need before each semester starts. Students must route requests through a faculty or staff member. The cutoff for spring semester software requests is the last day of the Fall semester. The cutoff for Fall semester requests is May 31.

Unless a software package is specifically requested each year, the software package will not be installed - even if it has been installed in the past.

Our goal is to ensure that we do not continue to purchase or install software that will not be used.

We understand that certain special events may require special software or changes to the software configuration already in the labs, once these deadlines are past. If you need special software installed or configured, please allow a minimum of 2 weeks for setup.

Make Request

Please see the Software List page for information about what software is currently installed in the Engineering computer labs.

Who Pays for Software?

Software that is not free will require a CSU account code to purchase. ENS does not fund software. If non-free software is requested, the faculty member has two choices:

Provide a CSU account code to purchase the software.
ENS will obtain a quotation from the software vendor if desired.
Ask your department to fund the software
This is the most typical case. ENS compiles all software requests and provides them to your department for you. It is in your best interest to communicate with your department head and provide justification for the software. Please understand that ENS does not make the funding decision, rather your home department will make that decision and supply the necessary funding.

Where is Software Installed?

Software to be installed in any Engineering College computer lab will typically be installed on Windows computers in all ENS-managed College labs, including the Virtual Classroom (if possible), unless requested otherwise. "All for one, one for all!"

If software is available for Linux, we can usually install it on the Linux Compute Servers. Please specify on the request form that you want it installed on those servers.

If you would like the software installed on other computers, for example your office computer, please Contact ENS to have it installed.

Timeline for Software Requests

Software in the Engineering computer labs is installed twice per year, during the summer semester and winter break.

Software requested after the deadline may not be installed by the start of classes in the fall. With 80+ Engineering software packages, many of them inter-operating with one another, ENS needs time to purchase software, and prepare and test our systems to make sure they all work correctly.

April 1: Software request e-mail sent to all college faculty & staff.
May 31: Deadline for faculty to submit software requests
June 7: Deadline for department heads to approve/disapprove software purchase
June 8: ENS begins ordering software. Some purchase orders take up to 6 weeks to resolve.
July 1 - August 1 (5 weeks): Testing phase. ENS begins installing and testing software (as it arrives) for the lab build. After installing, ENS asks requesting professor to test the software. ENS makes adjustments as necessary, then repeat until it works fully.
August 2: Deadline for lab software build to be finalized. No software changes after this date!
Last week of August (typically): Fall semester begins.
First week of December (typically): Fall semester ends. Deadline to request new software for the Spring lab software update.

How Does Network Licensing Work?

We typically use a form of network licensing called concurrent, or floating, licensing. This means that while there are a finite number of licenses available, we can install the software on all of the lab computers. A server keeps track of how many licenses are "checked out", and when that number reaches the maximum capacity, no one can open the software on another computer until someone "checks in" the license by closing the program on the other computer.

For example, say there are 30 concurrent licenses of SuperMathProgram available. We install SuperMathProgram on 200 lab computers. The software can only be used in 30 places at once. If you have a class of 34, you will not have enough licenses for all of the students in your class to open SuperMathProgram. If you have a class of 20, you're probably fine, as long as you don't expect more than 10 other users throughout the labs to be using the program at any one time. (Keep in mind other instructors may be using the same program at the same time!)

The other form of network licensing is a site license. This allows an infinite number of licenses for a specific software package. It is usually much more expensive but easier to manage.

If you're curious about the number of licenses we have available for a particular software package, go to the Software List and click on a specific software package. It will show the number of licenses, or indicate if we have a site license available.

Although ENS manages the license servers, we do not manage the licenses themselves. In other words, we do not decide who gets to use the software licenses or when. Licenses are checked out on a first-come, first-served basis. The number of licenses for each software package are determined by those who purchase the software package (see "Who Pays For Software?", above.)


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This document last modified Monday February 26, 2018

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